Catching Up, Buckling Down

At least that’s what I’ve tried to do since getting home from a really lovely, fun, relaxing and adventurous holiday.

Because our summer schedule was packed, we found the only weekend we could manage our annual summer party was the weekend right after we got home.


But we pulled it off with Jason and BW doing the manly outdoor set up and Kat, Kayla and I doing our girl thing in the kitchen. As always Kayla made a pretty–and delicious trifle–and stuck with her nana all day. What can I say about Kat? She’d left her carving tools at home–mom brain will do that–and managed to create a fabulous butterfly (Kayla’s request) fruit salad bowl out of this year’s watermelon with whatever she could find.

Trifle by Kayla
Healthy food too!

A good day with perfect weather, lots of food, lots of friends and family. A really nice way to ease toward the end of summer.

We followed that up–bam-bam–with our September signing at Turn The Page. Scheduling conflicts had my pal JoAnne playing Jason, our wonderful Sarah standing in (and standing is required!) for Laura.

JoAnne, Nora, Sarah

Griffin assisted his mom at the register.

Just up from a nap.

BW left after the signing for his guy week at the beach. Me, I hit my late-summer-shabby garden for some much needed work. I lost count of the number of tubs I filled with weeds and bloomed off flowers.

Then I buckled down for a week of solitude and serious work.

My reward? Finishing the 51st In Death–and no, you don’t get the title yet!

Secondary reward–gobbling up King’s new book, The Institute.

And now, it’s flow back into routine, with Laura back from her adventure in the UK–what a wonderful and fascinating trip she and her dh had.

A new book to start for me while I watch the leaves start to turn and fall outside. I’m going to harvest at least some of my herbs today. That’s a process I find rewarding and sad. Rewarding that I grew those suckers and will now have cubes of them to pop into soups, stews and sauces all winter. Sad because it signals the end–or nearly–of my garden.

For now, we still pick tomatoes and peppers off the vine and bush, and I snip a few blooms to bring indoors. But it’s nearly over, nearly time to put the gardens to bed.

And soon I get to spend a week with Griffin and Company in New York. Our boy’s on the edge of walking, and remains the world’s happiest baby.

But now, it’s time to work out, then harvest those herbs.


Note from Laura: Our adventure was my husband’s dream trip with some wish list items of my own thrown in. Those of you who follow me on Instagram know that the hash tag probably shouldn’t have been #lauraandmarksbigadventure but #canthatsmilegetbigger

I did write out a trip long recap but mainly sent back daily photos as we traveled from Edinburgh — where we stayed at the other end of a much-less-crowded-than-Festival-month Royal Mile.

Then on to a town named Reeth (a familiar name) in the Yorkshire Dales.

Down to Windsor for a delightful visit with the lovely Sarah Morgan and her husband.

On to London.

Then we sailed home to New York.

And now it’s back to regular programming!

22 thoughts on “Catching Up, Buckling Down”

  1. Other if you had wonderful summer adventures, and that is one of life’s greatest treats.

    Thank you for sharing!!!

    1. Both…not other…appears my ongoing battle with Otto Corr ct continues.

  2. Laura, what beautiful photos! Every one looks like a postcard! Thank you!

    Nora, love the little updates to everything, and not only the great news that #51 is finished, but to read your anticipation for the next. That’s always great to read. Thank you to you as well.

  3. I love this time of the year 🍂 and the way it seems to wrap a cycle. I really do.
    Welcome back and Enjoy

  4. Beautiful! Glad you and your family had a wonderful end of summer party. Kayla has real baking talent and Kat’s skills are beyond outstanding! Cannot wait for 50th “in Death” book to come out! It’s an early birthday present to myself! Love that the 49th was dedicated to Griffin! My family and I did the Hawaiian Islands. A trip to remember for a lifetime!
    Laura, from another Laura, your pictures are fantastic! Glad you and your husband enjoyed so much!

  5. Thanks to you both Nora and Laura for the blog and pics. You guys are so lucky to be able to do this. All your fans appreciate it so much.

  6. Wow! Quite a lot accomplished with picnic, garden the 51st in death, and a book signing! Laura, thank you for sharing your pictures. I don’t do Instagram, so I appreciate them.

  7. You know, the welsh country side and beaches are better than Scotland’s (I am kidding, it’s all beautiful. Couldn’t ask for better in either country) but it’s wonderful to see through someone else’s eyes. X

  8. I haven’t been overseas since a quick trip to Ireland before my husband died almost five years ago. Have to say, though, that all your photos and posts have me yearning to go to Scotland and pair my mother’s McKenzie people with my father’s Carew/McCoy people. ITM, I’ve vicariously enjoyed your trips.

  9. Many thanks to you both for sharing! I love the beauty of Fall, even as my garden heads toward a deserved rest. Glad all are healthy and happy.

  10. Love all the updates and pictures!Just finished The Institute myself as I had to have something to read since finishing Vendetta! Glad to hear there is a 51st and already looking forward to it. Hoping I will be able to find my selfie in 50. Glad you’re both recharged, have a great end of year season.

  11. Do you dry your herbs first ? Crush them ?
    Curious because I’m 8 miles from you and mine are ready to pick too!
    Thank you for your beautiful pictures!

  12. I had my bunching onions and my garlic chives sitting on my back patio waiting to be cut and frozen – and my cousin’s (male) dog came by and watered them. Guess they’ll need a good wash before they’re put up for future use!

  13. Nora, thanks for your newsy update. Yes, fall is rapidly approaching. My husband has been cleaning our flowers already. Enjoy your trip with your wonderful boy (oh, and the rest of the family who goes!). And I have begun my annual re-read of the Key trilogy, as again it’s that time of year.

    Laura, I do not have an Instagram account but glad to hear you had a wonderful trip. I’m sorry to have missed the updates. 😊

  14. Always love the updates and pictures (especially when you take us along on your trips!). I enjoy knowing what other authors or titles you read. I, too, just finished King’s The Institute and enjoyed it SO much!

  15. Glad to read the updates from both of you lovely ladies and that of you vacations were awesome..I thoroughly enjoyed all the pictures….

    Welcome home everyone ❤️

  16. I put them in my blender on chop, put them in ice cube trays, fill with water and freeze. Then I put the cubes in freezer bags, label them. After that, it’s just pop out the cubes as I need them and drop it the soup or whatever.

  17. What ship did you sail from UK to New York?
    We did the trip (twice) on the QM2

  18. Lovely photos, Laura, am sure you had a great time. About 23 years ago, my mother, aunt and I took a trip to England and Scotland. Wonderful memories.
    Nora, my husband’s garden is into it’s second growth of black eyed peas, and now he’s growing yellow & green squash, beans, collards, and turnips, bell peppers and tomatoes. Our growing season is of course much different than yours. I know you will enjoy all your herbs in your stews this winter. 😁

  19. Excited to hear what else you have been up to since you all have been back. 🙂

  20. Looking forward to the new ID. Hope this one has lots of angst as that’s been somewhat missing over the last several IMO. Book friends + Absolute Hades Situations = Great Read. 🤣.

    Enjoy your herb harvest and the upcoming Halloween fun. 😀

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